Glad you asked!
Retail expert, Mary Portas, came up with the town team name in 2011 in the United Kingdom. The first town team in Australia, the Beaufort Street Network, had already hit upon the same idea when it formed in 2009.
Portas was commissioned by the UK government to conduct an independent review of the state of nation’s high streets and town centres in 2011. Her report is still one of the best reports to guide the future of town centres in Australia.
She found that “the one – perhaps the only – thing everybody I have spoken to is agreed on is that for a high street to survive and grow it must have a very clear vision of where it wants to get to.”
“Critically, the new Town Teams would set out a clear vision for their town. One size won’t fit all so each vision will need to be unique.”
Her number one idea of 27 recommendations was to form “Town Teams”.
“We need the belief and engagement of all the local stakeholders to create the sustainable high streets of the future. The best results will come from maximum collaboration at the local level to create high streets that people want to use, enjoy and return to.”
“Change on our high streets will come from people not just policies. Charismatic, local people with a vested interest in protecting their town centres and revitalising their communities will, if empowered to do so, inevitably lead the charge for change.”
“I want to see high streets where localism really delivers integrated action from all the relevant stakeholders. Local authorities, landlords, retailers and the public working together to really animate the spaces they occupy, creating and nurturing their own unique place. Local people as co-creators and not simply consumers. Councils as managers and enablers. Landlords as long-term investors. Businesses as stakeholders. The best returns on investment will come from maximum collaboration based on local partnerships.”
Download The Portas Review: An independent review into the future of our high streets by clicking here.